Published September 1, 2015
Summary on Goodreads
So this book was picked for my book club for the month of November way back when and little did we know how close to reality this actually was after Trump’s election. (Yes, I am a Hilary fan but to be fair, I didn’t particularly like either candidates but I really cannot support someone who is outright racist, has no regard whatsoever to women, and is basically a lunatic but this is all I will ever say about the election.)
A lot of my book clubish friends didn’t really want to read this one because it hit too close to home so I think we ended up just meeting up to chat and completely disregarded this book. However, since I already picked up this book up and while it’s not the most stimulating or action-packed novel, I still found it interesting enough to continue to the end. All I can really say is that the ending was a complete shocker mainly because I was really hoping it wouldn’t come to it since I’m all about happy endings and most books usually are too but this one wasn’t…so now I just feel sad while I write this review at work.
Honestly the one thing I didn’t really get was the whole situation with Henry and Naomi. Okay yes I understand what he did to her back in the day but did he really think it was okay for him to just uproot her and her siblings (his kids) from San Antonio and their grandparents to a completely different area? And from Naomi’s standpoint, how was she okay with this whole arrangement? It didn’t seem like she put up much of a fuss when this came up. If this was me and knowing what he had done to me years ago, I would have put my foot down. Like, I’m sorry but no. And not only that but why were the people around them expecting Naomi, who is legally Henry’s daughter, to marry Henry, who is legally her father??? It was as this was to be expected and normal. In what day and age is this normal? Maybe if there weren’t any eligible women and men around then perhaps but this was the 1930s in Texas and there were most definitely a lot of eligible people around. I mean, honestly, where did this come from? Probably the most mind-boggling portion of this entire book. Which, in a way, is quite sad because I am not at all surprised by the way how Wash, the black boy, was treated throughout the book nor was I surprised that Naomi, as a female, was expected to do everything in the house.
Moving on – I couldn’t figure out the twins. Sometimes they seemed as if they were on Henry’s side and other times, it seemed as if they were on Naomi’s. At the same time, it felt that they didn’t really know what was going on because they were so young. It was just really hard to read them. Also, the twins are half Mexican and half white but how come everyone who saw them automatically assumed they were 100% white yet Naomi, who is 100% Mexican was often regarded as black. They share the same mother so it would assume that the twins would share some of her coloring and at least be pretty tanned but somehow they’re not? The book just made it seem as if they were the stereotypical white kids when in reality, they’re not 100% - they’re mixed. I guess I’m just really confused. The twins were also like day and night with their personalities. Cari was more deceptive and cunning while Beto just cared for everyone around him. She was the one who was urging him on to do things that they shouldn’t and whatnot. And I know people are going to hate me for this but I’m glad it was Cari and not Beto at the end.Another thing I wanted to add was the epilogue. It made the entire book so much sadder. I just can’t believe how he lived liked that until he was finally ready to spill it all out in paper. It’s just crazy to imagine how much and how long he bottled it up.Anyways, this book created a lot of thoughts and emotions to me but at the same time, it was just okay because the topic really isn’t my interest and the ending, while good in the literary sense, but it was just so sad and depressing. I mean if you’re interested in reading a book that has a tragic ending and the entire book focuses a lot of racism and rape and everything bad about America and “white privilege” then sure go ahead. Otherwise, just move along.